So we started on our way to Someplace Else (if you wish to call it that). We packed our things and set off. It was precisely what one would call an alchemical journey, and it had slowly matured in us over the years. Now it was finally the time for it to kick it off. Especially the last year, it was a one big preparation time, as we emerged from the stillwaters of our murky past ready to face Destiny.
“Look at it that way,” said Arlequin as the three of us sat on the floor of our friends kitchen in Warsaw, puffing a sisha, sipping herbal tea and munching grapes.
The Destiny was there, pulsating with possibility if only we dared to get more involved, if only we made our choice to live a life rather than discuss it. We always avoided that. We stayed at the outskirts of commitment to anything serious, anything that would move and thrill, reverberate and uplift. Choice of people, choice of lifestyle, choice of passion – it all remained as sort of what if, a lukewarm suspension. Well, the time had come to finally make the choices, to cross the barrier enclosing us within the narrow plot of our little and stuffy selves. It was not to be comfy, and it was not to be time of carefree socializing. It was also not, and most definitely, about parading proudly in the glory of our “enlightenment”. About that we were quite sure.
We are both withdrawn types, having spent most our lives trying to isolate ourself emotionally from the “erring and inauthentic crowd”. Almost all the while we felt somehow “aside”, “hurt” or “different”. Well, we forgave it being perfectly aware that nobody is perfect. We yearned to cauterize our lifelong aversion to others, our criticism and aloofness, wanting to deeply realize none are in the slightest “better” or “worse” than none else. We were all in it. We all cheat and we all pretend and we are all, at times, false. And it is for a precise reason, it is because we are lost. So, we conclued, it is now time to be found.
“We need to cauterize that stuff,” said Arlequin after he took a deep puff on the water pipe. “Deep below what the therapies attempt to cure, there is the point of decision. Let's call it Beyondness.”
“Beyondness?” I wondered. “Say, is that the Buddha thing? The Enlightenment?”
“Heh, the Buddha hinted at it, and yes, he was interested, but he was really focused somewhere else. Beyondness in its truest nature is what happens in your Heart when you make a decision. What kind of life you want? See, it's very practical. It's not about lofty concepts, clever strategies or right behavior. It's sometimes even the opposite – very imperfect. Sometimese it is unpleasant, sometimes dull, random, bad style. Yes it is. It can be extremely happy too. But it surely is one thing – being true to yourself. You do not lie. You make a decision to chose things, from the limitetd options you have, that ring true to your innermost Ear. That's what it is.”
“Even the Buddha needs You to decide what you want to be in your life. No meditation instruction, no method, and no steady perseverance will give him that. It is different in every single case. Every single individual needs to come alive with practical steps that will suffuse him with the feeling of Truthfulness. Otherwise you will be a nobody or a philosopher on a high mountain. So what that you are Enlightened? So what that you are a good, rational person, or have a lot of energy, or wealth? The question still is: where do you wanna commit?”
“Even after a spiritual achievement of some kind, this decision might not be made and usually isn't made. Well, the truth remains you need to make your life's choices in order to fully enjoy the benefits of any techniques or philosophies. You have to heal your life to fully enjoy anything. No healing, no fun. Simple. People get enlightened but are rigid as hell in their innermost insides, and because they are rigid as hell in their insides, they don't really let the fun get to them. They are enlightened bodies, spiritualized heaps of protein. Well, this is not what we are about here. We want you to find the liquidity inside, the vulnerability if you will, and the feeling nothing, literally nothing can hurt you. Not because you have this resplendent shield of light, the forcefield of awareness and an armor of gentle smile. It's because you are a Living Essence of Living Reality and there is nothing else but that. Nothing can destroy life that is all there is. It is always Life. You need access this Heart space with really great deal of devotion, so you could commit yourself to causes that are Your Destiny.”
So packed up and we set off. Yes, we, that is me and Kasia, my partner, lover and best friend. All these functions and many others she performs in our joint enterprise destined to reach the stars. We went through a period of preparation which in itself was a story and I am surely going to write about it some other time. Easy as it may sound, the whole thing wasn't a New Year's resolution packet, following up some spiritual workshop with visualizing chakras and drawing a map of dreams. None of that crap. It wasn't also an alternative business enterprise of two dynamic, determined and well socially adjusted individuals who read plenty of books and attended lots of seminars on “how to change”. It wasn't something that you could jot down as to-do in your coaching notebook. And, well, it surely wasn't a “let's-go-do-something-crazy-like-go-to-Thailand-for-a-month” that you could read about in a glossy psychological magazine.
Actually there was little ease about it, to tell the bare truth. What we dealt with here was a total endeavor that included patience and determination, plus really lots of discipline and hard work. We had to say goodbye to numerous pleasures that had given fragrance to our lives of the past. It took us actually a whole year for the gate to finally open, but then we sprang off like shoots of young barley grass....
... to a completely new and exciting dimension.
The plan was to go Workaway for a year, and see if life of traveling, staying with people, working in a relaxed manner in exchange for food and board is really what we wanted. It constituted a mind-watering alternative to most of what society had on offer to people like us, eternal wanderers, hypersensitive creatives, silent mystics, to coin just a few smoothly sounding definitions of what we were. In this new space, an expectation has appeared: maybe life was for something else than we'd thought? Something more? Maybe some things we so far joyfully took for granted were not ultimately true, remaining only assumptions made by Facebook and the bunch of mutual adoration societies we had so eagerly ascribed ourselves to?
If you considered that the work implied meeting people of alternative lifestyles, in sunny locations all around the globe and that it included learning plenty of new practical skills, like painting, plastering, gardening or childcare, the deel was not bad. Our socially withdrawn selves and rather sloppy bodies spoiled by years of physical inaction called desperately for this change. So we thoroughly composed our profile on www.workaway.info, and checked literally tens and hundreds of offers in all the sunny locations of Europe. We skimmed through hundreds of photos with smiling people spending sunny days on digging potatoes, building straw-bale homes, repairing eco-appliances, cooking, re-decorating and socializing wildly with food and music.
We chose Greece for starters. A bunch of guys worked there with hotel maintenence and renovation, it in the mythological region of Arcadia. Ah, the place seemed haunted by ancient gods all wandering among the lush green of young oaks and oleanders, seated on ruins or white rocks, gazing pensively into the sea. We loved the pics, the faces, the comments, the atmosphere. Yes, this definitely rang true to our Core..
We booked a flight from Warsaw to Athens. On arrival to Warsaw, a few days the booking, we stopped for a few days with an old friend and her family near the centre of town. It was after a whole year spent in the Polish countryside in almost complete seclusion that we now emerged into this bustling few days of social interaction. We met a few friends and visited family members to say hello after a long break, inquiring what's new, and also announcing about our newly picked life's direction. These few days was a preparation – emotional, mental and spiritual. We needed tha few last days to say goodbye to the lifestyle we had known and to open ourselves up to what was round the corner.
For some people there comes time
To say to life either a great “Yes” or a great “No”
It's clear who has his“yes”ready and says it
He goes from honor to honor strong in his conviction
He who said “No” doesn't repent
Asked again he would still say “No”
But his “No”, the right “No”
Drags him down all his life
Konstantinodios Kawafis “Che Fece – Il Gran Rifuto”
The discovery was simple. It was that we finally gained enough maturity to see what really mattered. Material posessions didn't really excite us. Knowledge and presetige – similarly. Social position, children, security, marriage, contribution to society – it all seemed flat. They didn't actually allow for the full technicolor unfoldment of Reality in its most profound and naked Presence that we so much yearned for.
“Well, isn't this what philosophies of the world attempt to do ?” I asked. “They all, well, many of them, talk about the Heart. The healing, the forgiveness. Are we redisovering therapy?”
“No,” said Arlequin, as we continued our talk in the shade of an olive grove on the green meadows of Arcadia. .”This is beyond. Therapy remains actually just a flattened version of it. No. What we mean is touching the spot where you forgot that you are loved and this forgetting in turn created all other beliefs. It's a most vulnerable place, farther than your psyche, even father than your Emptiness. You let go of everything, even the idea of “going beyond” or “enlightening”. The feeling is like touching some exotic raw material from stars, Remember Cryptonite? You don't know what it is untill you touch it. Then it's obvious. But still, you have nothing in your mind that would be even distantly comparable.
“So that's why you call it Beyondness?” I asked. “It is beyond... comparison?”
“Yes,” said Arlequin “it is beyond anything your mind knows. Even the spiritual or intuitive or positive or therapeutic, any belief. See, almost all the therapy is based on some beliefs. Or you say – algorithms. When you follow an algorithm, you must perform a sort of work. This work, you depend on it and you are it's slave. To start living in a free way you must start eliminating algorithms.”
“But how can I live in a world without beliefs,” I couldn't quite understand. Isn't that some kind of... well... you know... psychotic or something? Aren't we going to go mad?”
“No, it's not about destroying personality.” Arlequin played with a rotating coin. It would rotate on the tip of his finger and then suddenly disappear. Then he would quikly reach into the air and pull out a new one just as easily. I have no idea how he did it.
“You often call this “de-programming”, he said. “Well, it isn't also. You don't dismatle the machinery, you need it to sustain the body, and so dismantling would be a mistake. What you do instead is you accept the machinery completely as it is. You don't disctate any conditions, even the spiritual ones, even the mindfulness, or compassion or responsibility or hard work. Nothing. You give up your self completely. And whan you give it up, by the very act of doing it, you allow for what's beyond to enter.”
“I understand!” Kasia said making a note in her sketchbook. “This is not about ignoring your problems, or ignoring other people's problems, or ignoring the problems of the world as non-spiritual.. This is what many spiritual do, you know. And it is also not about trying to go and be good, running around and trying to save the world.”
“Exactly.” smiled Arlequin. “You keep loving what's already there, you don't want to skip it or make it vanish. You don't push ypuirself to do anything. No. That's the main difference between Beyondness and the majority of spiritual approaches you learn. You fully accept your limited personal situation and bow to it. Then you wait for something new, to naturally occur”
“But how do I know it is “new”?” I asked. “ Not just another belief? Another game?”
“You'll know it, don't you worry. When it comes, you'll know. There is much more to be disovered in the town except for the carousel park you are currently in. The museums, the piazzas, the art gallery. The beach. You, as if, loosen your grip on it, see? You look at what you have at complete ease, without expecting it to be anything actually. You might just as well die the next moment, who cares. And then you say; But perhaps there is also more?”
“So now you don't anymore have to put all your attention in turning the wheels and rotating winches, for the colours and energy to flow, for the people to have fun, and for the sugar floss to sell. You remain where you are. Hell with the rest. When set up properly, this whole arrangement will take care of itself. You will learn to give it less and less thought, and, well, in the time you will notice it more and more operates by itself. In the time saved, perhaps you will learn to explore the city”
“Well” I said. “all you talk about sounds like very high grade spirituality. What if I am not ready for it? What if I'd much rather play around with other things? To improve my life in other ways?
“The high grade”, Arlequin said “or, should we put it, the effective grade, for that's what it is, lies in you realizing, that you really don't have to do anything in order for your world to work. It's automatic. When you let go of worry, your world gets naturally efficient, because the worry was what held it in limitation! Well, but there is also a catch here. “
“A catch?” I asked immediately. I knew it wasn't as easy as he put it. I actually waited for him to say that.
“This is not just intellectual game,” he said..”Intellectually it doesn't work, you know. I do hope, Kristoph, you'll save yourself years of empty eloquence by realizing this now.
“I know” Kasia said. “It's about feeling this in You the moment you admit the problem.”
“The problem is in you, always. First you admit that. Then you ask for help from beyond the whole system. We mean the system of rules, of beliefs, the fun park, the carousel. You remember that it has no meaning. It's just just a caricature of Reality, a false reflection of it. But what is tru then? You cannot say, before you are told that, for now you do not yet know. You have no imagery of your own, see, no feelings, memories, ideas to compare it to. All you know is false.”
“You ask Reality to penetrate all barriers, all compartments, all beliefs and assumptions the mind holds, and show you the new. Physically the process is very often centered around the area of your heart chakra. It comes from and is born in the feeling rather than intellect. It is a new way of relating with Reality”.
“Then what happens is the Presence comes. The Presence is just a word, that means the same as Reality. In it you are not separate from anything, and you remain in communication with everything. This presence is your warm contact with any idea or thought or belief that you ever created. But, of course, there is another catch. It does not happen here, mind you.”
“Where does it happen?” I asked immediately.
“Not in this physical space. Also not in this mental space that recognizes physicality. Oh, no. It happens...”
“...Someplace Else?” I finished.
Arlequin was laughing.
To learn this course requires willingness to question every value that you hold. Not one can be kept hidden and obscure but it will jeopardize your learning. No belief is neutral. Every one has the power to dictate each decision you make. For a decision is a conclusion based on everything that you believe. It is the outcome of belief, and follows it as surely as does suffering follow guilt and freedom sinlessness.
There are no words to express where it happens, only by the experience. And I repeat, it is not the Emptiness of Buddhism, or Eternal Creation of New Age. Which are completely mindblowing concepts by the way, but it still is something else. It is personal, and it's gently touching, it sweeps away all your deepest human concerns, ones that guide and run your life without you even knowing, and it does it at their innermost fulcrum. In it, you know you are loved, and you know it without any doubt. You remember that love created and creates all, that love heals all, and that through love all comes back to love. This is the only sense, and only meaning to anything. The carousel, meaning all your dreams and concerns and hopes and personal tragedies, is there only because you forgot.”
“And whne I remember, I can also repair the carousel, is that right?” I asked. “But not as a focused and wilful effort,” I added quickly. “Not like with therapy and all, but by allowing myself to be touched by Reality in the heart of hearts?”
“That's it!” said Arlequin. “That's exactly what it is and you really have a gift to penetrate and see Reality for what it is. This is a rare talent. Most people are more concerned with expressing their gifts on the level of the material. Which is not bad. But yours is entirely elsewhere”
“People make a mistake of trying to repair their world,” I continued, “but the real problem lies elsewhere. They don't see that it is the lack of love that created any problem they perceive. And that only by filling the gap they can remove the problem from their field of perception.”
“Yes,” agreed Arlequin. “And when we say “love”, we don't mean “an idea of love”, which is very popular among your New Age friends. It's a part of most therapies to induce an idea of love, by imagining it, affirming, visualising, surrounding yourself with, breathing, circulating and many similar concepts. But then you mostly look at the intellectual immitation of love, even though it can be sometimes a really good imitation. You “make love” with thought. But it won't be really a good quality of love, would it? It'll resemble a plastic flower that you bought on the country market, in comparison to the real one, wild rose which cannot be bought or sold. What we are talking here though is the real wild rose. You don't need any pressure, or any belief to be it. You are it. It's the most effortless, and at the same time the most effective, pragmatic, tangible thing. You just have to decide not to lie to yourself about it. You have admit it – this is me.
Past and the future, distance and time
Atom to atom, water to wine
Look all around, what do you see
Everything touches, you are touching me
Adrian Henri Everything Touches
The text first appeared on Author's blog: www.doorwaystheory.com
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